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March 1, 2022 2:00 am
We live in a seemingly post-truth culture, where the very idea of absolute truth is considered archaic and even offensive. In the message "Seeing Truth Clearly," Skip shares how Paul both predicted the abandonment of truth and provided the antidote to it.
This teaching is from the series 20/20: Seeing Truth Clearly.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
Closing The truth the faith of the gospel doctrine to the very end.
I fulfilled and I finish the task That's are: our calling as a Christian church. This generation is to believe the truth love the truth speak the truth past the truth onto the next generation and live truth.
We can know so much of God's truth, but it will be meaningless for not applying it to our lives today on connect with Skip Heitzig Scriptures practical ways you can nurse spiritual truth in your daily life. Now we want to tell you about the source help you unfold God's rescue mission for you in the world. What is truth. The question may seem like a postmodern music.
Maybe the core of the Christian deconstruction movement, but Scripture records that Pontius Pilate famously asked that very question. Just before he handed over Jesus. So what is truth here Skip Heitzig for the Bible makes truth claims in some of those claims are pretty absolute. Here is why Jesus said I am the way the truth the life. No one comes to the father except through me. But how can you know it's really true. We want to help you get started in answering that question with teacher focused resources the booklet why truth matters in bloodline both by Pastor Skip our way to say thank you for your gift of $35 or more today to help connect more people to God's truth through connect with Skip Jesus as absolute truth. Pilot thought it couldn't be found. So he dismisses the case and in effect, he dismisses Jesus from out of his life. Get your copies of these two powerful resources when you get online securely connectwithskip.com/offer or call 800-922-1880, we were in second Timothy chapter 4 Skip Heitzig starts today study our culture has rejected out one of the reasons and there are several reasons for by the way, one of the reasons is journalism in our culture.
Overtime has become sensationalized every every article has spin there's an editorial thought behind it. There's an agenda behind it. Information is impure information it's skewed information. Now there are extreme cases of this. In extreme cases of this would be the most extreme case, I can think of is tabloid news. So when you walk into the grocery store and you check out all those tabloid newspapers crazy headlines I've I've had.
I have a little running list of some of the craziest headlines on tabloid newspapers has one headline alien mommy goes on a rampage. There's no dysphoria alien mommy goes on rampage battery about that. Another one says World War II bomber found on the moon. Another headline woman gives birth to two-year-old baby child walks and talks in three days. Another headline evil is a space alien.
I like this next one ancient photo of Jesus found which is to be fascinating 1800 years before there was photography invented. There's a photo of Jesus somewhere. Another headline Abraham Lincoln was a woman I never knew that that is news to me and then here's one more recently drinking cow urine wards off coronavirus.
I know anybody would want to try that cure. Now we we regard those headlines is not true sensationalized, but how do we know they're not true because they're not verifiable. I can go back in history to see if Abraham Lincoln was a woman I can go to the moon to see if there really is a World War II bomber on the move. It's not verifiable. But these things don't fit into human experience.
So some of us most of us, I'm hoping, look at I go that's not true, antique, and yet they sell somebody buys them in or make a lot of money selling them because as new ones every week so what happens now we get into a whole realm of thinking and study called epistemology epistemology is the theory of knowledge. What justifies your belief that something is true or not true. How do you know if something is true or not true. That's epistemology another reason our culture has rejected the truth is, because the truth can be so rigid that it speaks against us of our condition doesn't match what is true.
So we want to make truth a bit more fluid, more personal, more individual, more variable we used to talk about the truth. Now we talk about things like well that's your truth. That's not my truth. You might make a statement. That's true for you, but that's not true for me.
So now we have different versions of what is true or not true is not objective anymore. It is now purely subjective.
What you feel about it again because objective truth can speak against us. Our lifestyle, our preferences, especially from a biblical point of view. Did you know at one time in the United States in our country, there was what's called a moral consensus moral consensus that the country, by and large, I mean 50 years ago, even with say that's right – wrong you can do that you can't do that. Why because that's long a statement like that today doesn't even make sense anymore because there is no moral consensus, and by the way, in our country, there was a time when the large majority of our country would say the Bible is true. Not any longer 24% today believe the Bible is the word of God that happens to be the very lowest in Gallup polls, 40 year trend of keeping records of this the prevailing thought today is how can anyone ever claim to have a corner on the market of the truth. This is one of the reasons they reject the Christian message. You're claiming that as absolute truth.
Like you and you alone have a corner on the market and so here's a statement I bet you have heard there's no such thing as absolute truth of that statement. There's no such thing as absolute truth.
That is a self-contradictory statement. You know that because somebody is saying that there is no absolute truth are making an absolute statement, there's no such thing as absolute. You can't say that you can set an absolute statement, it is self-contradictory may want to remember that next time you hear but let's look at the passage a little more carefully now because the passage doesn't seem to warn against on believers turning away from the true that's a given.
We know they do that all the time. They live in untrue the warning here isn't about the world at large.
The culture large turning away from the truth. It seems to be referring to believers doing so or those who claim to be believers. Notice how it's written for the time will come.
Bursary for the time will come, talk and see into the future a little, but the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires is based subjectively on what they want their own desires because they have itching ears they will keep up pile up for themselves teachers, editorialists, and they will turn their ears away from the truth and be turned aside to fables and indicates that the people he is speaking about once adhered to the truth but no longer. It seems that in context to refer to nominal Christian superficial Christians who prove their identity, their false identity by rejecting the truth or they been numbered with true believers. They come to church. I believe I'm a Christian. I follow Jesus, but when it comes down to it. Eventually they will reject the truth, proving their identity is false, according to pew research, 25% of American Christians believe God is a higher power that this is now the Christian church people claim to be Christians. A full one fourth claim God is a higher power. Not necessarily all loving, omniscient and omnipotent as the Scripture reveals not a personal God, not a personal being, just some ethereal power gets worse 45% of American evangelicals are saying.
Many religions can lead to eternal life. It's almost half it's inching up toward half of evangelicals in the United States are saying.
Jesus is not the only way to heaven. Many people other faith traditions, though they all lead to God 45%. According to Barna research only half of the country's Protestant pastors 51% have a biblical worldview. Now these are leaders.
These are pastors you wonder posted tell people how to get from earth to heaven, then you have a biblical worldview and article in Christianity today even said one in 50 clergymen don't even believe in God. I thought an article I want to share just the gist of it with you.
It's called preachers who are not believers in interesting title preachers who are not believers. It's a study conducted by the Center for cognitive studies at Tufts University under the direction of Daniel C.
Dennett and Linda La Scala.
And here's the quote. Many churches and denominations have adopted such fluid and doctrine lists identities that determining who is a believer and who is an unbeliever is become difficult that we do this a lot, especially the celebrity claims to know Jesus or Christian, and then we push them up and and and just be have examined their teaching, their doctrine, the belief system because they claim to follow Jesus spoke about their and so the lines get blurred.
It gets fuzzy. And that's the reason for this series because far worse than the culture at large. Turning away from the truth. Are churches that turn away from truth. It's been said very well that Christianity is always one generation away from extinction.
The failure to pass it on to the next generation.
Several years ago there was a movement and is called the emerging church.
Maybe some of you heard about it when it came up was very, very popular or the emergent church. Some people think it's that it's gone away.
It has not.
The leaders of it are still around still influencing still writing books at a larger scale. What happened to the emergent church is is a sort of went defunct, but on the belief system. The liberalism of that just bled back into the institutionalized denominational churches of our country. The leader of that movement was seen as Brian McLaren, and he made a statement I want to share with you. He said and I quote I don't know if anyone has ever gotten the gospel right" as much a linger on that statement. I don't think anyone is ever gotten the gospel right with that statement.
So that means Peter the apostle didn't get the gospel right that would mean John who was there with Jesus when he said a lot of the things I apostle, he didn't get a right Paul, who was converted on the Damascus road and hearing the voice of Jesus. He didn't get the gospel I can see Sharon a lot about it.
I believe nobody's gotten the gospel right another leader of that movement still around still writing books still influential Tony Jones said, quote I'm quite convinced that the Bible is a subversive text. I think the Bible is and he uses a bad word. Expletive is a blanking scary book in the night. Denny writes pardon my French underwear.
The French always get blamed for the I think he continues that deconstruction is the only hermeneutical avenue that comes close to expressing the transgressive nature of the sacred text.
Let me unravel that mumbo-jumbo. He saying I am here to enlighten you.
If you have read the Bible and plainly believe the tax I am here to show you all deconstructed and show you that it does not mean what it says it means you cannot believe it. That's the leader of this church movement know what I want to press on you today is as you think of second Timothy understand this second Timothy was written just 30 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus already 30 years after the original fact of the resurrection of Christ 30 years after the church started growing and emerging. It was already developing this kind of falling away disintegration.
It does not take long. What's the problem was a problem that creates it. While Paul calls it, itching ears. The time will come.
Birthrate it will not endure sound doctrine.
They will put up with, but according to their own desires because they have it. She years the idea behind the word is there itching for novelty because they have years itching for novelty. They will heap up for themselves teachers in turn away from truth listen to that verse in the message translation people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. When Paul went to Athens. Remember the story in XMT public staff and stands up on Marcel, the Areopagus all these philosophers of theirs are so brilliant spouting off all the stuff they know and so here's Paul the apostle and he starts engaging in conversation about God and about Jesus and starts articulating the gospel in front of these brilliant erudite philosophers of Athens and the writer of the book of acts Dr. Luke. I love what he said he goes for the Athenians and the foreigners spent their time and nothing else but either to tell or hear some new thing that itching ears they gather together because I've heard that forgiving is new.
I haven't heard deconstructed forming so I get a different meaning to it. So here's Paul the apostle approaching those people so the preacher they least want to hear it is the preacher they need most to hear, and he was there. The ancient Israelites got tired of worshiping a God.
They couldn't see. So they talk Aaron into building them a golden calf that they could look at and worship Jeremiah chapter 5 God said, an astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land. The prophets prophesy falsely and the priest ruled by their own power and my people love to have it so always a willing audience what itching years heard about a farmer who was feeding his donkeys, oats, but the cost approach is rising, and you got tired of paying the price. So he decided he would come up with an ingenious plan. He mixed the oats with sawdust so the oats would go further. Those prices I got an idea. So we started mixing the outs with sawdust and as time went on he put more sawdust. The notes and so by the time the mules were satisfied, they were dead because you can't get nourished on sawdust man shall not live by sawdust alone.
It takes the oats of the word of God. People are starving because pastors are pandering to itching ears. So be concerned about knowing the truth be cautious about neglecting the truth. The third step is see clearly is be careful about nurturing the truth. Now I want to see how Paul pivots here. Paul's been talking about them here at the time is coming when they will do this and they will be that of a diverse five but you, but you now St. Timothy here different but you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry Timothy are not like them you to hold on to the larger your ear to to nourish it here to nurture at Yoda feed on. Then Paul uses himself as an example of faithfulness verse six for I am already being poured out as a drink offering in the time of my departure is at hand. Paul knew he was going to die within a short time after he finish this letter this the last chapter, we put this pen down. Shortly thereafter he is marched to the Basilica Juliet enrollment taken out of the Appian road where they take an ax and chop his head off. Paul knew that time was coming. He knew he would die soon the time of my departure is at hand. Liquid liquid.
He writes I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have The faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge will give to me on that day and not to me only, but to all who have loved his appearing policy.
I've kept the truth, the faith the gospel the doctrine to the very end. I fulfilled and I finished the task kept the faith. That's our calling our calling as a Christian church in this generation is to believe the truth love the truth speak the truth past the truth on to the next generation and live the truth. The truth you don't mind if I tie my shoe. The rear aroma some of the message and some of you are looking like he's been trip over that shoelace. I just know it. So for now now sent a distraction to me or do you okay so go back to verse two for just a moment because we just sort of glanced over this but look at look at how verse two begins. It is his commandment, it's an imperative. It's a commandment to Timothy preach the word and we know that is it's the Scriptures preach the Scriptures that you have received from childhood. All Scripture is given by inspiration, preach the word you ready be prepared for the if you like it or not in season are out of season.
Whether it's convenient or inconvenient, rebuke, and exhort with all long-suffering and teaching or instruction or Dr. know. He says the work preach is very important word in that culture preach is the word K. Russo, K. Russo to Harold to plaintiff to proclaim publicly and in the New Testament times a preacher or a Harold was an official title of somebody sent from Caesar himself.
It referred to an imperial messenger who would go through the streets and make grave loud proclamations with authority that was a preacher 8-K Russo. He would announce special events. He would announce if the emperors coming to the region. He would announce new laws he would announce new policies when he spoke he carried with him the authority of the King himself. Now if you were to speak and misrepresent the king was a grave offense was very dangerous, he could lose his life.
He had to speak with the king told him to speak. That was a Harold and to ignore the Harold to ignore the preacher was to reject the king so that's with that in mind, he says, preach the word see Paul knew where Timothy was. He be put Timothy in Ephesus. Ephesus was filled with great orators, brilliant philosophers who were twisting the truth that attach themselves to the church. They were twisting the truth.
Because of that people were turning away from the truth.
So the only antidote to that is preach the truth keep heralding it keep hammering it keeps speaking, preach the word. He didn't say preach your opinions were not to preach our politics were not to preach our culture not to preach our feelings were to preach his word and his word is sound doctrine, sound doctrine, that's what he calls it. In verse three it will not endure sound doctrine, you got an you gotta get this one. The word sound who Guiana is the work we get our word hygiene from hygienic preach hygienic doctrine using tell people out of wash their hands no.
The idea sound doctrine is your teaching is life-giving. It's healthy, sound biblical doctrine promotes spiritual health. So for the next several weeks. That's were working to be doing looking to go to the optometrist to Dr. Jesus. He's in no examine what our belief systems are through his word. He's gonna check our vision to see if we are seeing clearly according to sound doctrine, his truth, his word and will get adjusted as we go. DL Moody unit was a concern of a country kind of a preacher. I love what he said. He said the best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or spend time denouncing it but to lay alongside of it straight stick. That's what we will do in this series, week by week working a look at the strains of what the Bible declares about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, humanity sinfulness need etc. etc. within a reading discover those foundational truths that concludes a text message seeing truth to from the series 2022. Skip to tell you about how you can keep encouraging messages like this 1 Coming Their Way. As you help connect others to God's word.
We want to connect more listeners like you to God's never changing truth in these ever-changing times so we would love for you to consider partnering in this work today so that many others can continue to know God's truth and be transformed by his love her so you can take God's word to more listeners like you around the world. You can get online connectwithskip.com/donate. That's connectwithskip.com/donate or call 800-922-1880 809 two 218 thanks to him again tomorrow is tight to help you cultivate uneven relationship with God is so good presentation of connection communication to God's never changing truth ever-changing time